Northumbria Police to re-examine 'no crime' rape claims

Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said she had "grave concerns" over a number of cases

A number of rape claims are to be re-examined by police over fears they were incorrectly recorded as a "no crime".

Northumbria Police said 33 rapes have this year been listed as "no crime" - when people subsequently inform officers no offence took place - but 11 are to be reinvestigated.

Fifteen officers involved in the cases have been moved to other duties.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said she had "grave concerns" over the cases.

An audit by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary identified possible anomalies.

Officers involved in the affected cases have been moved until the circumstances have been determined and have not been suspended.

'Comprehensive investigation'

Ms Baird said: "A typical pattern was a woman who complained of rape when she'd had a great deal to drink.

"They interviewed the defendant the next day and he said she had consented and then the day after that there was a retraction statement from her.

"Actually, if a woman or a man is very drunk they are unable to consent or withdraw consent.

"They just don't have the capacity and so each and every one of those... should have been investigated.

"There's another set which were domestic ones - somebody has sex with their partner but sometimes they impose it upon them.

"The police did not seem to take those seriously either."

Chief Constable Sue Sim said: "As soon as I became aware of the issue I instructed a comprehensive investigation of all reported rape cases since October 2011 where a 'no crime' of rape has subsequently been recorded.

"As an interim measure those dealing with any case where decisions are being further examined have been moved.

"If any officer has failed to reach the high standards expected of them this will be dealt with through the proper procedures."

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